Motherwell toiled in West Lothian as Livingston picked up a deserved win in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
A goal from former ‘Well man Steven Lawless midway through the first half – and a late second from Craig Halkett – was enough to earn the hosts the three points.
Disappointingly, after a five star showing from so many players the previous week, nobody in claret could lift their game to match Livingston’s direct approach.
With five regulars sidelined through injury and suspension, Stephen Robinson had to reshape his defence bringing in Barry Maguire to face an aerial onslaught from the home side.
It didn’t take long for Livingston to put Mark Gillespie’s goal under pressure with a succession of long throws and corners, but Trevor Carson’s deputy looked up for the challenge.
And the ‘keeper had to be alert after 13 minutes when Alan Lithgow’s long throw found its way to Lawless and his shot from eight yards was net bound until Gillespie got down to brilliantly block.
In almost a repeat of their earlier chance, Livi produced the opening goal after 22 minutes. Lithgow hurled the ball in from the other touchline and when the ball again arrived at Lawless, he drilled his shot beyond Gillespie.
At this stage ‘Well looked out of sorts, unable to win the second ball at either end or keep possession. For a spell leading up to half time, they managed to control the ball a bit better on the artificial surface.
The Fir Park men finally managed an effort on goal when David Turnbull found Danny Johnson at the edge of the box. But after dragging the ball onto favoured his left foot, his shot was partially blocked by Craig Halkett leaving Liam Kelly with an easy catch.
After a poor first half, the travelling ‘Well fans were looking for a big improvement in the second half, with Alex Gorrín replacing Gaël Bigirimana in the middle of the park.
That did little to alter the pattern of the game with Livi’s direct style giving them the upper hand. Just before the hour mark, Robinson made his second change Elliort Frear coming on for Alan Campbell, shortly followed by Ryan Bowman for Curtis Main.
The Steelmen were in need of a spark to bring them into the game and it almost arrived 12 minutes from time.
Gorrīn lofted picked out Maguire coming in on the blind side of the home defence and his volley from six yards seemed destined for an equaliser, until Kelly produced a remarkable stop to keep the ball out of his net.
From Gorrin’s corner, Tom Aldred’s header forced Kelly into another save, catching the ball under his crossbar.
Any thoughts of a sustained revival from ‘Well were killed off eight minutes from time, when Halkett rose unchallenged to meet Scott Robinson’s corner and steer the ball inside the post and secure the points for the home side.
Bowman was denied a late consolation when his shot was again blocked by Kelly but otherwise it was a 90 minutes to forget from a ‘Well perspective.